If you want to see ancient history being uncovered before your very eyes then head for Orkney this summer.
The 2016 dig dates at the incredible Ness of Brodgar excavation have been announced. Archaeologists will be hard at work in the heart of Orkney’s World Heritage Site between the 4th of July and the 26th of August this year.
An overview of the main part of the site - image by Hugo Anderson Whymark
There are also plans for two open days, on the 31st of July and the 21st of August, when diggers will be on site and there will be demonstrations and activities for all the family.
It’s the twelfth year of excavations at the sprawling six acre site and it continues to surprise and delight both archaeologists and visitors. Thousands of people took the chance to see the Ness of Brodgar for themselves last year and its popularity continues to grow.
It’s no wonder – where else can you look over the shoulders of experts as they slowly peel away soil and dust to reveal beautiful stone walls, thousands of years old? Where else can you get an aerial view of a Neolithic complex, deliberately placed in the middle of an ancient landscape with monuments all around it? Where else can you rub shoulders with archaeologists from around the world as they take a break from uncovering the past?
It really is a site like no other.
Workers on site at the Ness of Brodgar- image by Adam Stanford
Although work will begin at the Ness on the 4th of July, the first two days will be spent clearing the site from its protective coverings. Tours will only begin on the 6th of July and will run until the 24th of August.
Individual visitors and family groups are welcome to join the free site tours with diggers from Monday to Friday at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. On Saturdays and Sundays there will be no diggers to see, but there will still be free tours at 11am and 3pm. Just turn up at your chosen time.
Visit the official Ness of Brodgar website for more information on parking and access.
Provisional dates are in place for the 2017 dig season too, but funding is needed to ensure the project goes ahead. Visit the Ness of Brodgar donations page for more details on the fundraising target and how you can help.